Every seven seconds someone in America turns 50.1 Where will they live? The 50-plus population is the fastest growing segment of the housing market.2 Adjusting to retirement and “empty nests,” many will move to communities that offer lifestyle choices that meet their new needs.
Housing for the senior market includes a variety of different options, including independent living, assisted living, nursing homes, and continuing care. Whichever definition your community fits into, providing the right amenities to the after 55 demographic is essential.
According to Encyclopedia.com, many seniors like to do one of the following in their spare time: travel, walking and other light exercise, reading, going to theater (cinema and live), volunteer work, and listening to music. Knowing some of these preferences can help ensure your community offers what after 55 residents want, making your community highly desirable. Things like:
Transportation. As mentioned previously, seniors like to get out and do things in their spare time. If your community can assist them in any way, that would be a great feature to advertise. For example, provide transportation for shopping excursions, theater, and to local restaurants.
Scheduled activities. Find out what your residents are interested in and make those activities available on an ongoing basis. Organize bridge tournaments, bunco, yoga, or perhaps training sessions for avid walkers or swimmers.
Offer services. What a convenience it would be to provide certain services on-site. Things like blood-pressure testing or seasonal flu vaccines, salon services or even income tax preparation during tax season would be greatly appreciated.
Educational Resources. Provide a daily dose of media by making newspapers, magazines and the internet available to your residents. Offer tutorials on the various social media websites that allow people to stay in touch. Did you know that seniors are the fastest growing demographic on Facebook? The number of after 55 users (on Facebook) grew a tremendous 513.7% between January and July 2009.3 This type of social media would be a terrific way for them to communicate with family and friends.
Certainly no one knows the likes and needs of their residents better than you do. But by finding out the preferences of your 50-plus residents and being responsive to their needs, you can not only help ensure their satisfaction, but the success of your community.
1SoldOnSeniors, Incl. (SoldonSeniors.com)
3 Stan Schroeder, Facebook Users Are Getting Older. Much Older.